Monday, August 22, 2016

The creative side of Budapest

 PHOTO AND WRITING BY MONIKA CSAPO





Lately I have been to the 7th district of Budapest more often since one of my friends showed me a nice coffee shop there which is also an English language bookstore and this place became our new favorite meeting point when I am visiting.

It turned out that also an other friend of mine lives within two minutes distance from it so it was convenient to arrange our upcoming coffee time at the same spot and ask also my other friend to join us there (who was the one who introduced me this place anyway).

This time I approached the above mentioned coffee shop from an other direction because I picked up my friend before going there and I had to state that the seventh district of Budapest is actually full of cool places. There are many small shops, eating places, pubs and even a market hall. Probably these two things go together but since this area is very metropolitan there are also many tourists staying here. My friend had a really nice necklace on and also her bag looked very stylish. It looked like being from Cos but no, it was from the outlet store of a Hungarian clothing store and she bought them at a very good price. Just to demonstrate for how good price: the bag cost the same as the necklace which is I think not so common in these minimalist/edgy stores.

An other thing which was new to me: nowadays you can see murals everywhere in the district. Some show a tribute to the history of the city and its inhabitants, others are representing modern art. Speaking of murals and walls..

The following story shows that Budapest is a city where modern and historical, global and local really goes hand in hand. To see only one side and not to know - or wanting to know- the other is always like missing a piece a bit. When I walked to my friend`s place I saw a blue door with colorful patterns on it. It popped out from its surrounding which was an old historical house waiting for renovation. Later my friend told me that it is a posh restaurant which opened recently where guests are seated according to seating order and upcoming local DJs are playing live electronic music as a background sound to fine dining. But it is not only just this. At the end of the garden there is a piece of a wall, the only piece still existing which was part of the wall they pulled up around the Jewish ghetto and its inhabitants during World War II before they started to deport people.

Budapest is a city with an eventful past. Everyone can choose for themselves of course what to go for when travel. Cheap beer, good food for good price, nature, partying, visiting museums. Every city has different faces, every reality has different layers. Sometimes also locals want to cover up certain chapters. But may be if you meet the right people it is only one question away that the buzzing present connects with a lesson from the past.

PS: Also the latest European food and culinary waves have reached Budapest. While ordering my lemon mud cake I ask the waitress if they used real lemon only or if there might be possibly also some artificial lemon flavor since that is the only thing I have food allergy for. The waitress looks at me disappointed: "I thought you will ask the right question. If it is made of bio lemon or not. Because it is." Then before I pour my milk to the filter coffee I ordered the other waitress stops me "In your place I would taste the flavor first without it"- and she looks disappointed too. A Conan video comes to my mind and while I am smiling I have to think of it that actually it is not so bad at all that there are some fix points in nowadays European culture no matter if being in Berlin, Helsinki or Budapest. And it is good that they are serving quality food and drinks of course. But next time I might bring my chocolate chips cookie coffee creamer with me as well just in case.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A short trip to Niedersachsen

PHOTOS AND WRITING BY MONIKA CSAPO


This is a very random video on the way from Hamburg to Ebstorf just to show the landscape a bit: 

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Above some impressions from my recent short trip to Germany. I was in Niedersachsen- around Lüneburg- at the wedding of a good friend of mine. I felt like being on a real business trip almost: I hopped off the plane in Hamburg. Then we drove to Lüneburg and I was there for the day of the wedding. Then I had a nice breakfast with the Mom of my friend after which we drove back to Hamburg and I jumped on the plane again. But of course the wedding and meeting people I like had a more personal touch than travelling on business.

 In and close to Niedersachsen there are many nice cities to visit within a quite short distance: Hamburg, Hannover and Bremen just to name a few. Last autumn I saw a different side of Northern Germany too when I traveled from Copenhagen to Hamburg by bus while visiting this same friend of mine. The coastal line of Northern Germany is really beautiful and during my recent stay people recommended me the island of Rügen for a photo tour. The bus ticket does not cost much so if you plan to travel around a bit in Northern Germany and Denmark it is worth to check these international buses.

An other thing I had to state again while doing a bit of landscape-seeing through the car window: the nature is really beautiful here in Niedersachsen with its pine forests and woodlands. I am not sure how much they advertise it in their tourism marketing but the locations I saw would be definitely worth the visit to take photos at.

(*I did not take my camera with me because I had only a hand luggage therefore the photos in this post are photos made by mobile phone)